Steam is forcing Code Avarice's Paranautical Activity through the Greenlight process, despite the support of publisher Adult Swim.
It was like a dream come true for the two-man-team behind indie developer Code Avarice when big-name studio Adult Swim (famous for TV Shows such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law) offered to publish its roguelike haunted boat FPS: Paranautical Activity. Adult Swim offered to foot the bill for publishing the game through Steam, but Valve was having none of that, telling the developer that because they started off Paranautical Activity with a Greenlight application, they had to follow the application through to the bitter end, despite having the backing of a publisher.
According to Mike Maulbeck and Travis Pfenning of Code Avarice, Valve explained that it "didn't want to send the message that indies can seek out publishers to bypass Steam Greenlight." This forced the duo to scramble to get the game's Greenlight campaign back on track, having abandoned it after getting the call from Adult Swim.
When Valve's Doug Lombardi was reached for comment on the issue, he said "We review Greenlight votes, reviews, and a variety of factors in the Greenlight process," adding "Our message to indies regarding publishers is do it for your own reasons, but do not split your royalties with a publisher expecting an automatic 'Yes' on Greenlight."
Maulbeck and Pfenning appeared on Green9090's Youtube channel to explain why it's so hard for new indie developers to raise awareness of their Greenlight campaigns. It is no secret that many indie developers aren't happy with the exposure Greenlight provides, and the allure of a publisher to help bypass the process entirely is very strong.
If you're interested in the game, you can vote for Paranautical Activity on Greenlight, and help the team get approval to publish on Steam.
Source: PC Games N